Mountain High in Flores

The hardest thing about the hike to Wae Rebo was getting to the trailhead.

For seven punishing hours, we had rattled up, down and around hulking mountains over shattered roads. In many places, the skin of asphalt had sloughed off years ago, exposing a roadbed of rounded river rocks that shook the car violently. Our average speed was 25 kph, which included an hour of crawling forward at 5 kph, the car rocking like storm-tossed ship. Chunks of cement had torn loose from little bridges during the rainy season, forcing Stefan to negotiate nests of rebar. Rarely was the road much wider than our car; someone had to risk drop-offs or ditches for two vehicles to pass.

Read more